In the past month, The Lottery Office has recorded a 108% spike in Australians buying tickets in its draws.

This is based on numbers in New South Wales, which just in the last week saw a 54.6% increase in Lottery Office revenue compared to the average pre-lockdown week. 

This news comes less than two weeks since Alliance for Gambling Reform found $1.5 billion had been saved by Australians not using gaming machines (aka pokies) - that's around 8% of the near $25 billion lost to gambling in a year.  

Lottery Office CEO Jaclyn Wood said this growth trend in lottery spending started in early March, and can largely be attributed to the increased participation of younger people since lockdowns started, with a 103% rise among 25-39 year olds. 

“Working from home and social isolation are definitely factors in the figures we are seeing, with people in younger demographics clearly trying to remain hopeful and stay entertained during an incredibly stressful time,” Ms Wood said.

“The irony now is that the options for what people could do with their winnings are significantly limited. Travel is currently off the table and luxury items have less appeal than ever before.

“We suspect that more than ever before, people are looking for economic security rather than a millionaire’s lifestyle.”

Ms Wood said the dream of winning the jackpot is "a great distraction" for many stuck in isolation, but also stressed the importance of responsible spending. 

“We know that many people have been directly impacted by the closure of businesses across the country, which is why we have individual and weekly spend limits to protect players,” she said.

“It’s never been more important for customers to set their own spending limit from within their account. Once set, these limits cannot be increased by the customer within 24 hours.

"We also have a range of other measures in place to ensure that we encourage responsible participation only."

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features introductory savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates on the market.

Provider

010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
  • No account fees
  • Easy access to your money

Saver Account (<$250k)

  • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
  • No account fees
  • Easy access to your money
02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Download the App to open your account
  • No monthly fees on any of your Save accounts
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest

Save Account

  • Download the App to open your account
  • No monthly fees on any of your Save accounts
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • For deposit amounts $0 - $49,999
  • New ING personal savings customers receive an introductory bonus 0.50% p.a. variable kick starter rate for the first 4 months on balances up to $500,000.
  • Reverts to variable ongoing rate. T&Cs apply.

Savings Accelerator (Amounts < $50000)

  • For deposit amounts $0 - $49,999
  • New ING personal savings customers receive an introductory bonus 0.50% p.a. variable kick starter rate for the first 4 months on balances up to $500,000.
  • Reverts to variable ongoing rate. T&Cs apply.
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month

Savings Maximiser (<$100k)

  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month
4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties

Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
020000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

HomeME Savings Account ($0 - $100,000)

    02001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

    Growth Saver ($1 - $25k)

      010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
      For customers aged 14-35 years
      For customers aged 14-35 years

      Future Saver Account ( < $50k)

        05001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
        • Maximum Age - 24

        Goal Saver

        • Maximum Age - 24
        010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

        Boost Saver

          00.011$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

          Reward Saver Account (31 years +) ($0-$100k)

            01000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

            Bonus Saver Account (Amounts < $100k)

              0201$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

              Reward Saver Kick Start (Amounts ≤ $1m)

                00.010$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                Life (< 30 years) (Monthly deposit)

                  5000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                  NetBank Saver

                    000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                    ANZ Save

                      050$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                      Young Saver Account

                        0501$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                        Save up

                          02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                          Bonus Saver (<$1 Million)

                            000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                            Smart Saver Account (Under 25)

                              Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

                              All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of June 19, 2024. View disclaimer.

                              Doubling of lottery spending "concerning"

                              Alliance for Gambling Reform Chief Advocate Reverend Tim Costello said that although lottery tickets have a lower rate of harm than other forms of gambling, the doubling of lottery spending is concerning, particularly at a time when many people are experiencing financial stress. 

                              "It's disturbing to see the lottery industry suggesting any form of gambling is a simple distraction at the moment," Rev Costello told Savings.com.au. 

                              "Just as medical and public health professionals are concerned about increased alcohol consumption during this pandemic, it's concerning to see a potentially dangerous and addictive product promoted as a mere form of escapism, particularly when we know people experiencing social isolation are more prone to gambling harm.

                              "We've seen some positive moves by banks in recent times towards banning the use of credit cards for gambling, or allowing customers the option of blocking such purchases themselves."

                              In February for example, NAB allowed customers to block gambling transactions on personal NAB credit and debit cards, including: 

                              • sports betting
                              • casino games
                              • lottery tickets
                              • online gambling

                              Rev Costello also said it was good to see the lottery industry recognising and facilitating people setting limits on their gambling spending. 

                              "But no matter how little or how much you spend on lottery tickets, the reality people need to face is that the odds of winning big on lotteries in Australia are around one in more than 8 million," he said. 

                              "You are literally paying to let yourself dream with next to no chance of ever winning; normally dreams are free."

                              Australians are the biggest (or worst) gamblers per-capita than any other country or administrative region, losing US$958 per year per adult, according to H2 Gambling Capital. 

                              The next closest are Hong Kong ($768), Singapore ($725) and Finland ($515). 

                              Resources for gambling help

                               If you’re reading this and think you might have a problem with gambling, there are numerous resources you can reach out to for help:

                              To help get your finances back in order after gambling issues, you can also speak to an ASIC approved financial counsellor.